Chaos and anxiety in Afghanistan as the radical Taliban have taken over the country at lightning speed. To the great discomfort of the locals and the international community. It led to great chaos during evacuation missions from the airport in Kabul, with two attacks claimed by IS, as a dramatic low. Follow the situation in Afghanistan through our live blog here.
Bijleveld: Thirty interpreters lagged behind in Afghanistan
U.S. Defense takes more attacks at Kabul Airport
Death toll runs after explosions in Kabul: several US soldiers killed
Emotional Biden after attack Kabul: ‘We won’t forgive this‘
France tries to evacuate hundreds of people after the deadly attack
The death toll of the Kabul airport attack is probably a lot higher than was initially reported. The number of deaths would be around 170, U.S. media reports based on anonymous sources in hospitals, among others. Among the victims are three children, different women and some British. The Americans have previously reported that thirteen of their soldiers, including many marines, were killed by the attack. US soldiers injured by the blow are treated in Germany. In total, more than two hundred people, especially Afghans, were injured.
Two British citizens and the child of a British citizen died in the attack, reports United Kingdom Foreign Minister Dominic Raab. Two more British have been injured. “The attack shows the dangers people face in Afghanistan and highlights why we are doing everything we can to take people away,” said Raab in a statement.
The Afghan branch of Islamic State, ISIS-K, has claimed the attack. The bombing was committed by one extremist, reports the U.S. Department of Defense. In doing so, the Pentagon corrects previous reports of two extremists and two separate explosions. However, there are still “credible threats” of airport attacks.
The explosion occurred in the large mass of people who have been trying to enter the airport since the Taliban’s takeover to escape the new regime. The crowd would have narrowed slightly since the attack.
According to the US, evacuations continue until the “last minute” on the day of the deadline, August 31. Currently, according to the Pentagon, there are some 5400 people waiting for evacuation at the airport. In the meantime, about 105,000 people have been picked up from Kabul.
17.00 — UN Security Council: Kabul perpetrators attack must be tried
The United Nations Security Council condemned the terrorist attack at Kabul Airport “in the most powerful terms” and underlines that all concerned must be tried. It is not just about the perpetrators, but also the organizers, financiers and sponsors, according to the body.
The fifteen-member council with the US, Russia, China, France and the United Kingdom as permanent members reiterates that every act of terrorism is criminal and unjustifiable. All countries are called on to cooperate with authorities investigating the fatal incident.
12.39 — Approximately 300 Germans left behind in Afghanistan
About three hundred Germans have stayed behind in Afghanistan. The German Ministry of Foreign Affairs reports that one day after Berlin stopped military evacuations from the country.
The army has evacuated a total of 5347 people from the airport in Afghan capital Kabul. On board there were some 400 German citizens and more than 4100 Afghans. More than 10,000 Afghans would be eligible for protection and the right to come to Germany. According to the Ministry, such as local staff, journalists and human rights activists.
The German army has left the country by now. German participation in the NATO mission in Afghanistan ended at the end of June after nearly twenty years, but a number of soldiers returned for the evacuations.
As the departure of the last foreign troops from Afghanistan approaches 31 August, it is becoming increasingly dangerous in the country taken over by the Taliban. More and more countries stop evacuating.
11.55 – Emergency shelter Heumensoord for Afghans only in use Tuesday
The emergency shelter for Afghan evacués in Heumensoord near Nijmegen does not open until Tuesday. Previously, the first evacuated bus was planned to arrive in the nature reserve between Nijmegen and Malden on Sunday evening. A spokeswoman for the Central Body for Asylum Seekers (COA) could not tell us why the arrival was delayed on Friday morning.
Defense has been building the camp in the forest since Wednesday. In 2015 there were 3000.mainly Syrian asylum seekers large tents with hard walls placed in Heumensoord. That turned out not ideal. That‘s why Defense is now building pavilions that are much stronger. It has also been agreed that the camp should be empty again by 1 January, so that refugees do not bivouac in the woods during the winter months. It can accommodate 750 to a maximum of 1000 people.
Nijmegen responded mainly positively to the arrival of the evacuees. An information evening organized by the municipality on Thursday attracted little interest, as residents of the neighbouring residential area know what to expect due to the experiences in 2015. “Then there were more volunteers than refugees,” explains Mayor Hubert Bruls.
11.13 – ‘Taliban want Turkish help at Kabul Airport‘
Turkish President Erdogan said that Kabul talked to the Taliban about running the Afghan capital airport after the Americans leave on August 31. He said the Taliban made a proposal.
The Taliban only wants technical assistance and not Turkish soldiers on the floor. Erdogan said Friday morning, shortly after the bloody attacks in front of Hamid Karzai Airport entrance, that he hasn’t made a decision yet because there are many risks involved.
Turkey has already offered the Taliban to keep the airport running. But the Taliban seemed to have no interest in that at the time. Turkey has been in charge of the airport for six years as part of the NATO mission in Afghanistan.
Early this month and before the Taliban Kabul was surprisingly fast underfoot, Turkey has offered to lead the airport after the end of the NATO mission. But Ankara wanted money from the US and asked Washington to leave certain “defensive military installations” at the airport. In addition, Ankara demanded that the Turkish mission should be granted international status first.
10.14 – ‘Two hundred people cancelled for Dutch evacuation flight’
Some 200 people on buses to a Dutch evacuation flight from Kabul were unable to join last minute last night. Reason was the deteriorating safety situation at the airport, where attacks were committed shortly later. People had been told that they were on an evacuation list, but they were inferior to the point. They would have been canceled by Dutch diplomats. Most people don‘t know where they are and how they are. Many of them seem to be in touch, reports CCEit.
Over the past few weeks, some 8,500 people have reportedly reported to Dutch embassy staff in Afghanistan to be eligible for evacuation to the Netherlands. They called on the extension of the admission policy that the House of Representatives enforced to the demissionary cabinet ten days ago.
9.54 — British and Spaniards quit evacuations Afghanistan
Spain has ended the evacuation mission in Afghanistan and Britain stops within hours. Two Spanish planes have flew the last 81 Spaniards and 83 Afghans from the Afghan capital Kabul and are expected at an air base near Madrid in the afternoon, according to Spanish media. France also stops evacuations in the course of Friday.
According to British defence minister Ben Wallace, there are no more people admitted to the airport and there are about a thousand people departing with British aircraft. The Belgian evacuations ended early Friday morning with the landing of a 37-passenger chartered aircraft on board. There were no Dutch among them. The plane came from Islamabad in Pakistan. The landing of the last evacuation flight from Afghanistan is also reported in Denmark and Italy.
A number of countries had already stopped evacuations from Kabul, including Belgium, Canada, the Netherlands and Poland. The U.S. Department of Defense stressed on Thursday that evacuations could take place over the weekend. According to the latest reports, there are only a thousand people with U.S. travel documents left at the airport to fly home, apart from US troops at the airport.
9.32 — The second last flight of evacués landed at Schiphol Airport
at Schiphol Airport, a flight of Defence has landed with evacuees from Afghanistan on Friday morning. Of the 100 passengers there are 98 people with a Dutch passport, let Defense know. It’s the second last flight that arrives in our country with evacuees from Afghanistan.
Whether the other two people are travelling to another country, or Afghans who helped the Dutch mission and ask for asylum, a Defence spokesman could not say yet.
The Lastevacuees flight is expected later in the day. The Dutch soldiers and diplomats who have been taking care of the evacuations in Afghanistan in recent times have yet to come to the Netherlands.
8.41 – ‘No members killed Taliban anything’
The Taliban were quick to report that the 85 fatalities of the attacks were also 28 Taliban members, but Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid has now denied that at BBC. “We have no victims to regret. The incident occurred in an area controlled by US troops.”
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That announcement is contrary to what an anonymous official of the radical movement reported to Reuters news agency earlier.
6.40 — “British left sensitive information on embassy”
British diplomats would have left sensitive contact information from Afghan staff at the British Embassy in Kabul. That information then came into the hands of Taliban fighters, writes British newspaper The Times. The UK Foreign Ministry comments that the Afghans in question have been put into safety.
According to The Times, it would include addresses and phone numbers of Afghan embassy staff, as well as curricula vitae of people applying for the embassy. The papers would have remained on the ground in mid-August when diplomats left the embassy head over because the Taliban arrived in Kabul.
“Everything was done to destroy sensitive material,” said a UK State Department spokesperson. However, the information from three employees and eight family members would have remained in the embassy. “It‘s crucial that we were able to put these three families into safety,” the spokesperson reports. However, according to The Times, not everyone is in safety.
Meanwhile, the US authorities are under attack because they would have provided a list of evacuees to the Taliban to ensure that people were admitted to the airport. A US government official told Politico news site that the US actually provided “a death list” of Afghans who worked with the Americans.
U.S. President Joe Biden responded to the rumors on Thursday (local time) during a speech and said that “possibly” a list of evacuees names has been provided to the Taliban. However, he couldn’t say that for sure.
6.21 — ‘Taliban fighters also killed in Kabul’
The attack on the international airport of the Afghan capital Kabul also killed 28 Taliban fighters, a radical movement official told Reuters news agency. Thursday‘s attack has been claimed by Islamic State (IS).
The official wanted to remain anonymous, but said the Taliban “lost more people than Americans as a result of the attack.” Thirteen U.S. soldiers were killed, at least eighteen others were injured. According to the Taliban official, there are “no reasons for foreign forces to stay in the country after 31 August.”
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An Afghan official and a hospital reported on Friday that 72 Afghans died by the attack, and more than 140 injured. A reporter from US channel CBS News reported at least 90 deaths, including women and children.
Following the attack, witnesses said that a great panic arose at the airport, where Afghans had fallen to the Taliban’s takeover of power in the hope of observing an evacuation flight abroad. The airport and airspace are now being controlled by the United States.
A NATO diplomat calls on the Taliban to closely monitor the IS terrorist movement, which demanded the attack. According to the diplomat, “thousands of prisoners would have been released in recent weeks,” Reuters reports. Security in Afghanistan is now the responsibility of the Taliban, stresses the diplomat, who states that “fear and anxiety drive Afghans to despair.”
Also listen to the defense and international security podcast Delta Tango: how did it get this far in Afghanistan?